The Importance of Sustainability

The Importance of Sustainability

Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability. Whether it means drinking out of a reusable water bottle or carpooling to work, people are exchanging their old inefficient ways for more sustainable, earth-friendly practices. Companies are making sustainability part of their mission statement, and are vowing to do their part to help our planet. Customers, primarily the younger generations, take sustainability very seriously and some are even only buying from companies that are using their resources responsibly. So how can branding go sustainable? 

1) Go digital- this might seem obvious, but going digital is one of the best ways that your brand can spread their message sustainably. Instead of using paper for your marketing campaigns or invitations, try to send it out in an email or social media post. The world is shifting to digital anyways because of its convenience and affordability but it also has sustainability qualities that make it the best outlet for your brand. 

2) Know your numbers- Data allows you to target a very specific audience for a marketing campaign, and knowing that can help you cut back on the number of materials you send out. Specificity increases the effectiveness of a campaign which means more sales with less effort. 

3) Know where your material is coming from– If you want to advertise your brand on a gigantic billboard on a busy highway, you need to understand how billboards are made. How much energy goes into printing a billboard and are the materials used to create it sustainable? How many will you need to reach the level of impressions you need to consider the campaign successful? And how do those considerations compare to other print products? For example, if people are using a reusable water bottle but washing it every day in the sink, is that usage of water more damaging to the environment than a plastic bottle?

4) Take your time to get it right- If you make the time to hire an expert and get your message right on the first try (which is always the goal!) that means you don’t have to use up more resources and energy trying to fix it. That means less time in production, less late nights in the office (with the lights on) and less materials ending up in the trash!

5) Make sustainability initiatives a part of your brand- not only is it important to reduce your own waste, but you also have an opportunity to go on the offensive and inspire others to do the same. You can do this by simply shifting the messaging around initiatives you’re already part of. For example if your company requires you to travel a lot, give back to the environment by planting ten trees per plane ride or a tree per thousand miles. Want to go even further? Invite your customers to join in on the fun and match your contribution, then host a tree planting networking event each year 

There are many ways that we as human beings can protect ourselves and the environment. We can make our own individual choices such as buying an electric car, but it is really important to make changes within our brands and companies so that we can make a lasting change. Not to mention that using sustainable resources has the ability to earn you  more money in the long run!

 

The Luck of the Draw- Is There Such a Thing?

The Luck of the Draw- Is There Such a Thing?

Luck – that fickle creature that comes and goes as it pleases. It whimsically chooses who floats and who sinks with no more seaworthy captain than chance at the helm. Right? While we hve yet to gain the ability to predict last nights winning lotto numbers. There are still a few ways to prepare your brand to tackle adversity and get that bada$$ lady luck on your side. Here are five ways that you can prepare yourself for success during hard times in the future according to inc.com and sungardas.com

  1. Prioritize your relationship with your existing customers – sometimes brands get so caught up in trying to gain new customers that they forget to value the ones that are already there. Before, during, and after a hardship, it is important to remain loyal to the people who are loyal to you as well. Communicate, engage, and find out what they want! 
  2. Invest in your business – don’t wait until your brand is struggling to give it the TLC that it needs. Update your website frequently, stay on top of new technology that could benefit your brand, and come up with a new corporate image and strategy before you desperately need one. Don’t wait until it is too late to start giving your brand the maintenance that it needs. 
  3. Invest in yourself – even when your brand reaches success, it is important to never stop learning and bettering yourself as a person and innovator. Read books involving your area of expertise, listen to podcasts about how to better yourself as a leader, and don’t be afraid to learn a new skill. God forbid another pandemic hits, these new skillsets could save you and your company from going under. 
  4. Make your work accessible and adaptable – as we all know, COVID made many people work from home. This was a big adjustment period for everyone. Is your business zoom friendly? Are your employees equipped with the technology and resources that they need to thrive outside of the physical office? Understand how lack of physical connection can or may impact your business. 
  5. Put some money away – when hard times hit your company, you will be so happy that you have the emergency fund that you do. It helps to keep a separate account for savings so that you have it when you need it the most. 

Preparation makes life look lucky. Is your brand prepared for whatever life throws at it? 

 

They Love Me, They Love Me Not

They Love Me, They Love Me Not

We all know a marketer’s worst fear; having their message be misunderstood. When this happens, there is a chance that your customers will forgive and forget. However, that is not always the case. Because of social media and the ability to voice any opinion at any time, marketing mishaps can shift the perception of your brand for the long haul. The goal is to avoid making marketing mistakes in the first place, but no one is perfect. Here are five steps that will help your brand recover if your marketing campaign doesn’t land well. (according to zoho.com) 

  1. Listen to what people have to say– in order to learn from your experience and ensure that nothing similar ever happens again in the future, you need to understand where you went wrong. It is important to listen to your consumers and value their opinion. Once you hear what they have to say, own up to your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions. 
  2. Think like a customer- remember, your marketing campaign can flop even if it wasn’t offensive. Maybe it wasn’t unique. Maybe it didn’t highlight what made your brand different from the rest. Maybe it didn’t do anything wrong, but it didn’t do anything right either. Put yourself in your customers shoes and ask yourself if you would remember the marketing campaign that you just created. If not, go back to the drawing board and rework it so that your customers are engaged. 
  3. Analyze your numbers- you need to dig deep. Sometimes just looking at a metric does not tell the whole story. If something has a lot of views, it doesn’t mean that everyone watched it. They could have clicked on your video and then exited out because they found it boring. If you look at the data and you see that a lot of people clicked out of your video at the same part, go back in and make changes. Do people click away once they see numbers? Do they click away when the music cuts out? Pay attention to these minor details and it can make a major impact on your brand. It helps to have analytics installed on your website, to use a CRM platform to track different messages, and to compare analytics from different forms of communication.  
  4. Do one thing at a time- do not feel rushed to jump into many different avenues after (or before!) a marketing mishap. Like with anything in life, it is best to fully dedicate yourself to one thing then it is too spread yourself too thin and try to cover too many bases. When you do this, you are not fully dedicating yourself to one task, and are missing out on an opportunity to excel in something. So learn from your mistakes, and take your time to fix it. Focus. 
  5. Hire an Expert- Remember, marketing takes up an entire section of your business plan because without it you don’t have a business. Too many business owners waste time and energy trying to tackle marketing tasks that they don’t understand. When faced with any challenge it’s always better to meet with an expert, come up with a budget and use what you’re good at to earn the money you need to hire the right help.

Remember that every business has its failures and it is okay to make mistakes as long as you are willing to learn from them. 

New Year, New Brand

New Year, New Brand

For many people, maybe even yourself, the new year symbolizes a chance to grow and evolve as a person. Many people throw away the junk food and join a gym to become a better, healthier, and happier version of themselves. It’s also a great time of year to evolve your brand. Brands, especially those that have been around for a while, often get comfortable with their image and stay away from changes to avoid losing their brands’ originality. However, there is no better way to ensure the longevity of your brand than staying up to date with the world and your audience. Below are 5 tips that will help you know when you need to update your brand, and how to do it the right way (according to ignytebrands.com). You do not need to make huge changes, and a good rebrand gives your brand a fresh look without compromising the integrity of the original mark. 

  1. Follow the numbers- this may seem obvious, but one way to know that it is time to rebrand is that your sales aren’t as high as they used to be. People are obsessed with the ‘next new thing,’ and if they did not create a strong enough relationship with your brand, then they probably moved on. This is the perfect time to rebrand and create a new meaning for your company. 
  2. Your brand has become too complicated- if your brand has become something that is too confusing to understand and maneuver, then it is definitely time to simplify things. People do not want to spend time trying to figure out what your brand stands for. 
  3. You’ve outgrown your brand- If you’ve been in business for more than ten years there is a good chance it has evolved. Let’s say you work for a computer company. That computer company probably has rebranded itself multiple times from the very first computer to the most recent. As the world changes and your company changes, so should your brand. 
  4. You need to clean up the damage of a negative reputation– if your brand has made mistakes in the past that ended up giving your company name a negative connotation, then it is a good time to knock it down and rebuild. For example, the Dixie Chicks are now just referred to as The Chicks after they found out about the negative historical implications of the word dixie. 
  5. You’re trying to connect to a new audience- not all rebrands have to come from a negative place. A lot of the time, companies rebrand themselves so that they can explore new avenues and bring in new customers. If your brand is mainly targeted to senior citizens, a possible rebranding opportunity could come from trying to include younger generations. 

Are you deciding whether or not to rebrand based on these tips? If you are, it is important to do it right. Getting leadership buy-in is important so that it can be implemented across the entire company. You also are going to want to define your goals, budget, and timeline. Having clear and concise goals and deadlines will help sharpen your vision for the future of your brand. You want to have a strong strategy, but also have the creative instincts that will help you make innovative decisions. Hiring an expert will help to ensure you keep your brand’s original tone. Just make it stronger and newer!

Have a safe and happy new year! 

 

The Millennial Myth and Why it Matters

The Millennial Myth and Why it Matters

Millennials, you know those young, lazy, selfish twenty somethings posting pics of the banh mi they ate for dinner last night. Often referred to as GEN Y, millennials are people who were born between the years 1981 and 1996. Which means those millennials aren’t so young anymore. Wake up america, your millennials are now between the ages of 25 and 40. This, amongst other misconceptions, barely touches the surface of the millennial identity. As millennials start to get older and the baby boomers are dwindling down, millennials make up the largest segment of our population in American history. So its extremely important for businesses to know who they are, what they want, and how to market to them. We’ve uncovered the truth behind 4 of the most common misconceptions people have about the millennial generation in the year 2021: 

 

Question 1-TRUE or FALSE: Millennials are young. 

Answer- FALSE! Millennials are born between the years 1981 and 1996. After doing the math you will realize that millennials are between the ages of 25 and 40 years old. This might seem young to you depending on how old you are, but the reality is that millennials are much older than people realize. Which means they are buying houses, having children, paying taxes, investing in 401(k)s, running businesses and buying health insurance. 

Question 2: TRUE or FALSE: Millennials Don’t Want to Work. 

Answer :FALSE! Millennials have become the driving force in our market and economy and represent 35% of our labor force today. By 2030 that number is expected to more than double.

Question 3: TRUE or FALSE: Millennials are Lazy. 

Answer: FALSE! Millennials are now more than ever putting those super savvy digital skills to work for them. It is common for millennials to be making money off of multiple revenue streams. In addition, now that they are in their thirties and forties, many  millennials are starting to have children and build their own families. Unlike previous generations, millennials aren’t quitting their day jobs to do so. Juggling multiple responsibilities, millennials demand convenience and choose brands that help them be more productive.  

Question 4: TRUE or FALSE. Millennials are selfish. 

Answer: FALSE! Millennials are labeled ‘self-centered’ because they look out for their own wants and needs, but millennials are also socially conscious. They demand eco-friendly, sustainable products and back brands with social responsibility. They know how to voice their opinions and use platforms on social media to promote change. 

As millennials become the largest generation in history to contribute to our economy, businesses are already experiencing huge shifts in product development, marketing strategy and messaging. Businesses who will be successful are those who help millennials be more productive, more kind to our planet and our people, and more purposeful.